All SCUBA agencies teach environmental awareness while diving – don’t touch the coral, take only pictures, leave only bubbles, etc – but the National academy of SCUBA Educators (NASE) has taken environmental awareness one step further. They have taken on the challenge to not only be environmentally friendly underwater, but out of the water as well.
The NASE is aggressively taking steps to not only eliminate the amount of paper used in certifying their students, but is also working to reduce the carbon footprint of their agency.
As the agency strives to fundamentally change how people learn and dive, they are moving to completely, COMPLETELY, eliminate the use of paper products in their training. In the last six months the NASE has gone to eLearning for all of their certifications – from Open water and Advanced Open Water to Nitrox to Instructor. All of their texts have been converted into digital textbooks – which are FREE to students. All applications, all class record keeping, all certification information is done on-line – no file folders or redundant forms or student packets. It is truly paperless paperwork.
Lastly, the NASE has added digital Certification Cards – cards that will never wear out, will never need replacing, will never get lost. And if a diver grows dissatisfied with their C-Card photo, they can upload a new one.
This paperless training thrust by the new leadership of the NASE will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but will also have a positive impact on their students, instructors and participating dive shops. NASE paperless training will save both time and money for students and instructors. Additionally, as the world grows more tech savvy by the day, the paperless approach is more appealing to today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.
There is one other major environmentally friendly change in the NASE approach to teaching SCUBA diving to their students. The NASE has made a conscious effort to reduce the impact of new divers on the underwater environment by increasing the focus on buoyancy control in their Open Water classes. Not just giving lip service and ten minutes of fin pivots and hovering, but by really focusing on what buoyancy control really means to the diver underwater, and by not certifying students until they master this technique.
The environment we live in is becoming more and more fragile, both above and below the water. The underwater community and the world needs more people like the NASE to step up if there is going to be any underwater world left to enjoy in the future.
Keep tuned for our extensive coverage (as well as previous years coverage) of DEMA 2012 during November 14-17, 2012 in our DEMA Show Coverage.